Eclipse E4 Application Spy

Quick reference on Eclipse E4 Spies I use for development and debug of Eclipse E4 RCP Applications.

  • Eclipse Spy Shortcuts: ALT+SHIFT+ ( F1 | F2 | F3 | F5 | F6 | F8 | F9 | F10 | F12 )
  • Running platform: Mars SDK added by all plugins in platformUiTools.psf, plus the live editors plugin.
  • Test E4 RCP Application with spies

Eclipse Spies Shortcuts

Below, names and key combinations for the spies I use more often:

  • Plug-In Selection Spy: ALT+SHIFT+F1
  • Plug-In Menu Spy: ALT+SHIFT+F2
  • Model Spy: ALT+SHIFT+F9
  • Context Spy: ALT+SHIFT+F10
  • Event Spy : ALT+SHIFT+F8
  • Css Spy ALT+SHIFT+F5 and scratchpad ALT+SHIFT+F6
  • Bundle Spy: ALT+SHIFT+F12

Spies quick description:

+Fn Name Usage
F1 Plug in Selection Spy Find the class implementing the Selected UI element
F2 Plug In Menu Spy Get Info about the class implementing a menu.
F9 E4 Model Spy Inspect and change E4 model at runtime (live).
F10 E4 Context Spy Examine the context tree data at runtime
F8 E4 Event Spy Display E4 events at runtime
F5 (F6) E4 CSS Spy Show (edit via scratchpad) the CSS for the UI.
F12 Bundle Spy Display status of bundles, as the OSGi console.

Running Platform

For this article I am using a recent Eclipse I-Build for the Eclipse, added with platformUiTools plugins (for contributing to the Platform UI project) and added of the eclipse All Spies plugin ( I think it was called live editor).

  • Get Eclipse SDK from the downloads:
  • Add the Platform UI Tools plugins by donwloading the file platformUiTools.psf and installing from menu:
    File > Import > Install > Install Software Items from File
  • Add the eclipse liveeditors plugins by installing Eclipse 4 – All Spies from the e4 update site .

Test E4 RCP Application with Spies

To use the spies for testing your E4 RCP application it is enough you create a new launch configuration and add the live editor plugin with the needed dependencies:

  • Create a new Eclipse launch configuration and switch to Plug-ins tab, on the right side
  • Select Launch with: “plugin selected below only”, then select the set of plugins to run your application
  • Then start filtering and select the plugin
  • Finally, Add Required Plug-ins and launch your application

After launching the application, you can press any of the presented Key combinations, to show the needed spy. As example, below you can see the E4 Model Spy for a running Eclipse Instance


1 comment

  1. In the launch configuration you should also filter on ‘spy’ + ‘live’ and you will get all the spies… The live editor plugin should be renamed into model spy in a few time… (bug 466782). When it will be done only ‘spy’ could be added…
    For the model editor, it would be great to mention the ‘search’ preference in the model editor preference page (in fact, this preference should be set by default, it is really efficient)….
    A remark concerning the event spy, if you add it you will pull all the jdt stuff due to a shortcut to open a class if we click on an event… I think is useless and it should be simplified…
    And a last remark, regarding the references, it is ‘OPCoach’ and not ‘OPCoah’

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